QUARTERBACK TAYSOM HILL
On whether he was trying to run a play on the fourth-down play in the first half:
"No, we didn't have a play called. We always have the option to get into something but that (the Denver neutral zone infraction) was what we were hoping for."
On what today's game was like for him:
"I think going into the game, there was so much uncertainty. You didn't' know how it was going to play out offensively. I'm not surprised the game the way went after having different conversations with Coach last night and this morning. It's about what I expected."
On how impactful RB Latavius Murray was today:
"Latavius was great. It was one of those things where you try to manage the ball, make sure we aren't doing anything to hurt ourselves as a team offensively. But then to take time off the clock and have the ability to hand the ball off to Latavius. You see so many great moments, with [RB] Alvin [Kamara] too. Those guys never go down on the first contact. They are making guys miss and making cuts in the hole and getting yards after contact is huge. That was the game plan for the day."
On how he evaluates his performance:
"It drastically changed. As far as evaluating my performance, it's difficult thing to look at as an a competitor and feel really gratified about. At the end of the day, through my conversations with Coach, I felt like my responsibility was to get us in and out of the huddle, make sure we are lined up properly, make sure we are targeting everything directly. Overall, I was happy with the way I was able to manage the game plan. At the end of the day, it's hard to win in this league, it's hard to win nine games this early. Overall, a win's a win and we'll take it any way we can get it."
On whether the game plan was not to take any risks:
"Going into the game, the game plan changed in the last 24 hours so my mindset changed as well. I really became a game manager at that point and certainly the way [Head Coach] Sean [Payton] called the game reflected that. The screen was one where Alvin kind of ran into the end and when you call a screen, you know it's either there or it's not. I probably should have thrown it away a little bit sooner but that was one that wasn't really a clean look and, to your point, we're not going to take any unnecessary risks that put our defense in a bad situation."
On the importance of the defense's performance in today's win:
"We can have all of these conversations about being conservative offensively, because of the way our defense played and because of the way they had been playing. We had so much trust in those guys, and that to me is really why we felt like we were going to do what we did today."
On what he means when he says the gameplan changed dramatically:
"We weren't adding or taking away plays, but the way that the game was going to be called and our first- and second-down calls changed dramatically. It really just boiled down to the way Coach was going to call the game."
On if he'd say the gameplan changed into a more conservative plan:
"Yeah, that's what I was (implying)."
On closing out their first touchdown drive with 10 consecutive running plays, and the significance of that for an offense:
"I can't say enough great things about the way our line played. Denver has a really good defense, they play assignment-sound defense. For us to be able to do that was really impressive. You lose [OL] Terron Armstead late in the week and we're trying to make sure we're taking care of James [Hurst] on the left side now. Being able to just throw James in, plug and go, and run the ball the way we did was incredibly impressive. He gives us a lot of confidence moving forward."
RUNNING BACK LATAVIUS MURRAY
At what point did you kind of have an idea this was going to be this kind of game for you? Where you were just getting as many carries as you did and getting all that opportunity?
"Well, I kind of found out as the game went on. It wasn't something that we discussed. We knew we wanted to run the ball. And so, it just kind of happened, my number was dialed up and I got opportunities today."
Do you have an inkling whenever, you know, all this kind of craziness started happening with the Broncos, that this was going to be this type of game? Where it's going to be kind of like ball control, ground pound, that sort of thing?
"Well, we obviously didn't want to do anything to lose the game. So, yeah it was one of those games where we wanted to make sure we could control what we can control. Run the ball, protect the ball and obviously on defense, play great, and I think they did. So, we did what we had to do to win the game and that's what we came here to do."
229 rushing (yards) as a team, when they know you're running it right at them. What does that say about the guys up front?
"They did a heck of a job. And it's a statement. It's a mentality that they have, we have, as an offense. And we're very capable of doing that. And so we obviously want to continue to build on that going forward. But to be able to line up and run the ball consistently like that. It starts up front. Obviously we have to give them a lot of credit."
Up front, no Terron (Armstead), no Andrus (Peat). How beneficial was that for y'all that James (Hurst) and Nick Easton stepped up there too?
"Yeah, that's what it's about, next man up mentality. And nobody's going to feel sorry for us. I know the Broncos didn't. So, it's about, that next guy stepping up, and coming in and playing and seizing that opportunity. And I think both of those guys did that."
Obviously, this will be remembered as one of the strangest games in NFL history. Have you ever played a game where the opposing team didn't have a quarterback? And can you kind of sympathize with Kendall (Hinton) and the player that was kind of thrown out there for the Broncos in some way?
"Yeah. No, I've never been a part of something like this. I will give him a lot of credit, going out there and having the confidence to even step on the field and doing what he did. I know it was tough for him, but a lot of respect for him. But this is the kind of season that it's been. The kind of season it will be going forward. And I think everybody knew that when it was time to report. So, we just have to make sure we're doing the best we can to take care of business. So, we can have everybody ready to play and continue to figure out ways to win."
LINEBACKER DEMARIO DAVIS
What was the preparation like for this game after finding out they weren't going to have a quarterback and it just kind of changed everything up, you know, last night?
"We kind of knew their situation, that they probably would have to do a lot of runs and reverses and those type of passes. And the passing game would become simple. But, we were prepared for whatever (came) . And we just tried to simplify our game plan a lot. I think the coaches did a good job. They got us some tape of the quarterback when he was in college. And so, we were kind of prepared for whatever they threw at us. And it's NFL football, so you still have to be ready to go out and execute your job. And I've gotta give credit to the guys for executing."
Everything about this year has just been ridiculously weird. Is this just another sort of ridiculously weird game, a team without a quarterback in this year? Does it just sort of fit 2020?
"I don't know. Our job is just to play the game that's in front of us. It's very unfortunate for a team to have to, to kind of go through that. You'd never expect to be playing an NFL game and a team doesn't have a quarterback active in the game. That's different. I think for us to be focused on our job, we really can't pay attention to all that's going on. Because there's so much that's required to be mentally alert once the ball is snapped. And if they say we're playing, we have to be ready to play. So, it's either you're all in or nothing. And so, it's like, we don't really have time to kind of, sympathize and empathize with everything else that's kind of going on. I feel like, (it is an)unfortunate time. And we all just have to stay hopeful and hope this all goes away."
Have you ever had to prepare for a game like this where you really didn't know who was going to be back there or how many people were going to be back there?
"I think it was really more so, the last minute announcement that they didn't have a quarterback. Where, our coaches just got us some game film to look at when he played quarterback in college. But, as far as the type of plays that they would be able to run, we've faced, a lot of teams that run the wildcat. We knew a lot of their gun runs would probably still be in. So, we had already kind of game planned to stop that. And I guess there is still the unknown, you know, what kind of trick plays that they would run to kind of, you know, you know, speed up their offense or get them on track. But, you just have to be prepared for anything and you really have to stay locked in. I think we gotta give a credit to a lot of guys, for the team. Because, you know, just because they don't have a quarterback doesn't mean that's an automatic win. You still have to stay locked in. You have to respect every opponent and understand that a lot of guys have worked really hard to be on that field and everybody out there is a professional. So, it's still a high execution game."
I saw you hitting the train whistle whenever Latavius (Murray) scored his first touchdown. What did you think of his game out there today?
"Oh, just explosive. A lot of hard runs. I think the offense did a good job of just wearing them down defensively. And I think the play he broke, he just wore the backers down. And I think they thought they could try to slip through and make an easy play. And a backer went back side and left a huge gap. And he hit it, and it's always exciting to see guys on this team make plays."
New Orleans Saints fans cheer on the team from a safe distance as the Saints take on the Denver Broncos in Week 12 of the 2020 NFL season.